23 October 2008

Mr. Right's Referendum

"The only chance John McCain has to win," Mr. Right announced in response to some mumbled question from Mr. Peepers, "is if the election turns into a referendum on Barack Obama. If it does, there's no way Obama will win."

"But why can't the election be a referendum on McCain," I asked.

His answer was that, in a way, McCain has already been rejected, or found wanting. "He wouldn't even be the Republican nominee if there hadn't been open voting in so many primaries," he said. This is a point he's made before. The newer point seemed to be that people needed to decide whether to hold their noses and vote for McCain. Mr. Right was convinced that proper exposure of Obama would persuade enough people to do as he will.

"Actually," I pressed him, "given that there are at least half a dozen candidates on the ballot, why should the election be a referendum on any one candidate?"

"Because at some point you have to face reality," he answered. "None of those third parties are going to be credible until they start winning local elections."

"Yeah, but even at the local level you're still going to face that same self-fulfilling logic that they can't win. Of course they can't win until somebody votes for them!"

Mr. Right has done little but gripe about McCain since the Arizonan pulled ahead in the Republican primaries. You'd think he'd rather vote for someone who comes closer to his own views, though nobody really fits the bill. He's spoken sympathetically about Bob Barr a few times, but is implacably fatalistic about Barr's prospects. While noting that Barr polls as high as 5 or 6 percent in some states, and is hurting McCain in those places, he also understands that Barr has no money to get on national TV. In any event, Mr. Right is no Libertarian. He may agree with them on economics, but he's too conservative on social issues and still too much in favor of the war to really go that way. The Republican party, McCain aside, is really the best fit for him, especially since he's bought into the Bipolarchic logic that requires him to vote Republican in order to avert the worst outcome, in his mind: Obama's election.

Like McCain himself, Mr. Right thinks we haven't learned everything about Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers, the erstwhile Weatherman. Not that he thinks further investigation is necessary; it's really enough for him that Obama sat on boards with Ayers -- enough to disqualify Obama.

"So are you going to boycott the whole city of Chicago?" I asked him, "I hear that Mayor Daley has said favorable things about Ayers."

"No, I wont," he replied, "Nor do I want to see the university blown up for hiring his terrorist wife [Bernadine Dohrn]. But people should not be willing to associate with an unrepentant terrorist like Ayers under any circumstance, no matter how casual. I can't support someone who won't dissociate himself from such a person. That's just the way I think."

As usual with Mr. Right, the subject turned to double standards. "Admit it," he challenged me, "You know that if John McCain or Sarah Palin associated in any way with someone who was involved in bombing abortion clinics, that we wouldn't hear the end of it in the media, and they wouldn't have a chance of winning. Why isn't there the same outrage over Ayers?"

"Maybe most people don't consider him a present danger," I suggested, "The last time I looked, the Weather Underground wasn't still plotting to bomb places."

"Well, it may not bother you, but it bothers me," he concluded.

I'll spare you his related comments on Obama's Marxism, except to note that he has corrected himself somewhat on that subject. I once heard him declare that Karl Marx was Obama's hero. I challenged him to cite Obama's own words on that point or never say it again. Now he is content to say that "all" of Obama's heroes are Marxists, which is equally ludicrous but neither so insulting to my intellect nor so outrageous even for him that I care to bother calling him out on it. Sometimes it's best to let the stupid be, especially when you know they're not persuading anybody.

I suppose it's also worth noting that Governor Palin gave an interview this week in which she showed herself reluctant to label abortion clinic bombers as terrorists. To be fair, she did say that clinic bombing would be "unacceptable ... on our watch," but one wonders about her reticence. Had I known about this before I talked to Mr. Right, I would have asked his opinion. Since he's rabidly anti-abortion, I'm not sure if I could predict his response.


Rev. Don Spitz said...

You seem to imply there is something wrong if a babykilling abortion mill is burned or bomb. Which do you prefer, a pile of bricks or a pile of dead babies? Innocent unborn babies deserve to be protected just as born children deserve to be protected. You would have no problem protecting born children if they were about to be murdered.
SAY THIS PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I am a sinner and am headed to eternal hell because of my sins. I believe you died on the cross to take away my sins and to take me to heaven. Jesus, I ask you now to come into my heart and take away my sins and give me eternal life.

crhymethinc said...

Personally, I'd prefer a pile of dead bible-thumpers. There is no Jesus, or rather, there have probably been hundreds in the past couple of millennia, but none of them were anything special. Since there is no god. You superstitious oaf. Your bible is nothing but bad history, exaggerations and outright lies. Very little of it is even remotely historically accurate. But hey, go on believing in the tooth fairy for all I care, but don't try to force others to accept your nonsense as fact. There are many of us who are willing to to die or (more importantly) to kill to defend our right to live our lives as we will, not as some imaginary tyrant wills.

crhymethinc said...

Say this "prayer";

Dear Universe,
I am not a superstitious idiot and I am headed for oblivion at death, the same as everybody who has ever been born or will be born. I know that death is the end of conciousness, the cessation of experience, emotion and thought. I will not bow down to imaginary tyrants, nor will I accept the words of their psychologically disturbed "believers" as anything but nonsense. I will accept facts and evidence as the basis for my opinions and morality. I have figured it out for myself, so need not obey without question.

crhymethinc said...

You seem to imply that there is nothing wrong with people not being given a choice in bringing a child into the world that they neither want nor can afford. You seem to prefer children growing up in an environment where they live in squalor and poverty in a household where they know they are not wanted and not loved. You seem to imply there is something wrong with intelligent population control, as opposed to unchecked, uncontrolled breeding at the behest of some imaginary tyrant, to tax the nation's resources. Most disturbingly, you seem to imply there is nothing wrong with forcing your will on people under threat of violence. So where is the difference between you and Osama bin Laden, you terrorist freak?

Samuel Wilson said...

Spitz: As long as abortion is a legal activity, burning or bombing an "abortion mill" is a crime. A prevailing definition of terrorism is violent activity intended to stop people from legal activities. Your conscience entitles you to perform acts of CIVIL disobedience, as people do outside just about every Planned Parenthood office I know of. Beyond that, yes, there is something wrong with attacking abortion clinics. But let's raise the stakes: do you prefer a pile of dead doctors to women exercising sovereignty over their bodies? If so, you need to say that prayer.